Data is a key strategic asset for every business and that’s no exception here at Stockspot. Meet Megan, our Analyst who helps us crunch the numbers so that we can make better decisions.
Megan shares some of the interesting insights she’s seen and her tips for investing.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I studied economics at Sydney University after escaping the suburbs (although I probably spent more time and dedicated more effort to being Stockpost’s intern and going on student exchange than my studies). I am a bit of news junkie and like the big picture approach of how economics of big world events actually impact things close to me.
In my free time I try make the most Sydney’s great beaches and all the different neighbourhoods to explore. I try to stay active, although my table tennis skills are still quite bad for start-up land.
Like everyone else, I have also recently developed a podcast addiction.
What do you most enjoy about being an Analyst at Stockpot?
I enjoy being part of a great team and always learning new things. I have a lot of independence with my work, but always get guidance from knowledgeable and more experienced team members. I get to work on different types of tasks and have direct exposure to all areas of the business.
It’s good to be part of a business that really focuses on what’s best for consumers. I like researching ETFs and stockmarket movements because things are constantly changing (I must admit that I don’t enjoy 100% of my time dealing with Excel, but I have developed a soft spot for it).
Favourite holiday destinations and why?
I would say New Zealand (we have to let them win sometimes!). I enjoy spending time outdoors and love the mountainous scenery from the snow to volcanoes. There are lots of activities to do within a relatively small area – to maximise fun over travel time. Somehow I still haven’t made it through all the Lord of the Rings films yet.
Recently I have tried to make an effort to see more of Australia, it does have amazing nature and wide open spaces. My favourite part would probably be the north west – Karijini National Park and the Kimberley region.
Further afield, I have found Germany has a variety of interesting cities, a mix of tradition and pragmatism.
How does it feel to be Stockspot’s official hand model for blog photos?
This probably my proudest achievement in life. It’s not the role I expected after my university studies, but sometimes great things just get handed to you. My fame hasn’t gotten out of hand yet, but I already feel as if this opportunity has given me the upper hand for my future career plans.
If you would like to try your hand at modeling, I suggest a regular mobile phone workout. As many millennials are already training hard, you really need to put your hand up to take advantage of any opportunities.
What would your advice be to people in their 20s getting started investing?
I do think that young people are under a lot of financial pressure and a rapidly changing world means adapting to circumstances comes ahead of well-intentioned, generalist advice. We hear lot about how important it is to take charge of our lives right now – to live life to the fullest whilst simultaneously preparing for the future. This can be quite overwhelming at times and I haven’t found a great solution to it all either.
But investing is one of the simplest and most accessible ways to help set you up for future goals. With so many options available, it’s important to find what’s best suited for you and your circumstances. It’s right to be critical of services and to want reassurance that your money’s safe. There will always be a level of risk involved and remember that it’s not a quick path to wealth – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you had $20,000 to invest and $1,000 to speculate where would you put them today?
I would invest in an avocado farm. However, this option isn’t really available right now and my second idea of buying an island is a bit more expensive.
As I would aim to maximise payoff with minimum effort, I would probably invest in a few ETFs that will benefit from megatrends. I am willing to take the a lower future payoff compared to a single risky investment such as an IPO or a few stocks in order to have time to focus on other matters in the next few years. (Time is a very valuable commodity!)
In terms of speculation, I will go beyond the obvious cryptocurrency option and look for opportunities in small emerging market countries. As I have very little knowledge about these opportunities, it would be a very speculative investment.
Best ETF fact you’ve learned recently?
This is not strictly about ETFs and more something I find interesting than a new fact. The world’s biggest ETF issuers – Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street, are now so big they own significant percentages of many companies. This gives them an opportunity and what some may consider a responsibility to shareholder boards.
Recently Vanguard and Blackrock have signalled they may start becoming more active, to voice their opinions on sustainability and weapons in particular. Whilst this may be a result of pressure from their own clients, it is an interesting area to watch.
Grow your savings the smart way
Stockspot is Australia’s largest and most experienced online investment adviser. We make investing easy and affordable. Whether you’re growing your wealth, saving for a home, a family or retirement, we help you do it with the right investment portfolio and guidance.
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